Tuesday, June 7, 2011

skirting the issue

Sunday was my last semi-long run before Grandma's.  I ran the Team Ortho Minneapolis Half Marathon.

Man, it was a hot one.

Like seven inches from the midday sun.

Runners were dropping like flies towards the end - lots of folks needed medical intervention.  Another reason it's good to be slow!

2010 Mpls Half Marathon - our first!
This is such a fun race.  The husband and I did it last year as our first ever half marathon and we had a blast.  It's a big race (4000+ runners) so there are lots of spectators.  The course is fairly tough with a couple of big hills thrown in; the big hill at the end is a killer.

We really had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.

My longest run had been 10 miles, and the husband's was 8 miles so neither of us felt properly prepared.  We figured we'd just go out there and see what happened.  Good thing we had no expectations - totally took any pressure off and let us just have a good time.

Our meal the night before the race?  Steak.  And lots of red wine.  That might account for the long potty stop at mile 10.

When all was said and done, we finished in 2:30:45.  Slow, yes.  But we finished!

This year, the husband wasn't able to run with me.  I ran with the same friend who caught up to me in the Get in Gear Half Marathon in April.  I was supposed to run 11:30 pace but couldn't bring myself to go that slow..... not that I was a lot faster - I certainly didn't push it - I have my eye on the prize and wasn't going to jeopardize Grandma's by trying to run a fast race two weeks before!

Another fun time, the hills were just as tough, the spectators were just as awesome and the volunteers handling the water stations were AMAZING.

Rockin' the skirt at the finish
Some highlights:
1. Running with a guy who had a prosthetic leg.  What an inspiration!  We caught up to him at the turnaround at mile 9.  In addition to being just plain inspiring, he and his running partner were super funny!  Seriously, I'll try not to bitch about my aches and pains so much from now on..... We ran with them for a half mile or so.
2. Seeing the husband at mile 11 and again at the finish.  I had given him the day off - he's been to SO many of my races this year, he's definitely done his time - but he showed up anyway to cheer me on. He took some pictures with his cell phone and only one sort of turned out. (It looks like I have Kool-aid or something all over my face..... another high quality picture for the blog, but at least I have a race pic!) There is nothing better than looking up and seeing his smiling face in the crowd.
3.  I think I got hit on around mile 5.  WTF???  I guess I should mention I was wearing a new bright pink running skirt.  I'd never worn a running skirt before and wanted to test it out before Grandma's.  Some guy ran up alongside us and said to me, "Great skirt.  It looks really good." or something like that, before running on ahead of us.  My friend turned to me and said, "What the hell was that????  Did you just get hit on?  In a RACE???" and we both just burst out laughing.  I seriously don't know what to make of that one.  I think it was hilarious, and just so strange!
4.  Hearing someone yell, "Bitter Hag! Hey, Nora!!  Bitter Hag!!!" around mile 10 or so.  Whoever you were, I saw you on the hill but didn't recognize you - you were too far away.  So tell me who you are!!!  You absolutely Made.My.Day!!!

My time was ok (official time was 2:23:28, which is 10:58 pace), especially considering I bonked a bit before mile 12.....it was getting pretty warm and I started seeing stars and feeling a bit wobbly.  I walked to the last water stop at mile 12 and then felt a little better.  Ran up that last killer hill - yeah, ok, I took a short walk break in the middle of the hill - and then finished strong.  I fueled a little better this year, too.  No steak or booze the night before! Overall, I feel pretty good about the run.  No significant hip or ankle pain to speak of.  Yay!

Now it's Taper Time.

Oops!  Almost forgot to add my splits - as usual, Garmin Electra time is faster.  Oh well.  Someday my Garmin time will match my Official time.

Oh, and the big question for Grandma's: to skirt or not to skirt?

Avg Pace


  1. I'm looking for someone to run with - I would love to keep that pace at Grandma's. Hoping to break 5 hours. GI issue at the Rock N Roll Mardi Gras in February and finished in 5:10. Maybe we can meet up.

  2. Dude. You are my running hero to run that pace in that heat. Seriously.

    (ps - I am going certifiably insane. Never suffered from taper madness last go around, but this time? Going nuts.)

  3. Congrats on another awesome race! You are unstoppable!

  4. Oh! And I totally say go for the skirt :)

  5. Hi Nora-
    Not to be a creeper or anything, but that was me and my significant other on the hill yelling at you at the half on Sunday! I started reading your blog a few months ago (just googled running over age 40 or something like that) and found yours and you've been such an inspiration to me. I am 47 and have run off and on for a few years, but never longer than a 5K. Then this winter I started training for the Get in Gear 1/2 and I made it! 2 hours, 25 minutes, 40 seconds. I know that part of the reason I could do it was because of reading your blog. It really helped me! So back to the hill-I knew from reading your blog that you were running, and we had three friends running in the half so we were there to cheer them on, and when I saw a tall woman I said to Mike, "Do you think that's her?" He wasted no time and just yelled out "Bitter Hag!" Then I yelled "Nora" and it was you! I hope it didn't freak you out or anything. I feel like I saw a celebrity! Good luck at Grandma's and thanks for sharing this journey through your funny and inspirational writing.

  6. To skirt or not to skirt? And get the chance to get hit on again? SKIRT!

  7. Congrats on the race! Totally skirt it!

  8. Pro skirt! Pro skirt! (Only because I'm wearing one too.) ;-)

    A group of us from Dailymile are meeting at a pub post-marathon in downtown Duluth at 6pm. Would love to meet you and any other Gma runners if possible.

    Great recap and good luck at Gma's!

  9. Wow, thanks gang! Ya'll are too kind with your awesome comments. And....... The skirt wins! :)

    KARI!!! Seriously, you have made my day, my month and my year!! My friend thought it was hilarious that you were shouting Bitter Hag - I did too! You didn't freak me out at all. Way to go on the GIG!!! Wasn't that a nasty, wet run?? I'm glad I was able to provide some measure of inspiration - if nothing else, I'm pretty good at demonstrating how NOT to do things. :) Thanks again for the shout out - LOVED it!!

    Grannie Frannie - I'm planning to run with the Clif Bar pace team either 4:45 or 5:00 depending on how I'm feeling on race morning - so hopefully we can meet up at the starting line!

    Vera - I'll be there!!!

  10. Skirt all the way! I'm wearing one and so many women wear them in the races that I participate in. They're all the rage! ;)

    Awesome job at the half--that heat can be so dangerous. Hoping that 6/18 is mild and 50's!


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